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Madeleine Force Astor

Madeleine Force Astor was an American survivor of the Titanic disaster and wife of multimillionaire businessman, inventor and writer, John Jacob Astor IV.

Her husband aided her aboard a lifeboat from which she was subsequently rescued by the passenger liner Carpathia. He later perished in the sinking of the Titanic.

She led an active social life, and each of her three marriages was to a prominent individual. Madeleine's second husband was wealthy banker/industrialist William K. Dick. Her final marriage was to Italian middleweight boxer Enzo Fiermonte.

Madeleine Force Astor
Madeleine Astor with her first husband John Jacob Astor IV
Biographical fast facts

Full or original name at birth: Madeleine Talmage Force

Date and place of birth: June 19, 1893, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.

Date, time, place and cause of death: March 27, 1940*, at 7:30 p.m., Casa Invierno, Jungle Road, Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.A. (Heart ailment)

Marriage #1
Spouse: John Jacob Astor IV (m. September 9, 1911 - April 15, 1912) (his death)
Wedding took place at 9:55 a.m., at Beechwood Mansion, 580 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.A.

Marriage #2
Spouse: William K. Dick (m. June 22, 1916** - July 21, 1933) (divorced)
Wedding took place at 2 p.m., at St. Saviour's Episcopal Church, Bar Harbor, Maine, U.S.A.

Marriage #3
Spouse: Enzo Fiermonte (m. November 27, 1933 - June 11, 1938) (divorced)
Wedding took place at 5:45 p.m., in Madeleine's hospital room at Doctors Hospital, New York City, New York, U.S.A.

Children
Sons: John Jacob Astor VI (b. August 14, 1912, at 8:15 a.m., New York City, New York - d. June 26, 1992, at 3115 Pine Tree Drive, Miami Beach, Florida)
William Force Dick (b. April 11, 1917, New York City, New York, U.S.A. - d. December 4, 1961, Port Maria, Jamaica)
John Henry Dick (b. May 12, 1919, New York City, New York, U.S.A. - d. September 1995)

Parents
Father: William H. Force (in the shipping business)
Mother: Katherine E. Talmage

Burial location: Trinity Cemetery, New York City, New York, U.S.A.

Error corrections or clarifications

* Madeleine Force Astor did not die March 24th as a few sources state. All obituaries, death announcements from the family, and death records confirm she died the 27th.

** Her marriage to William Dick did not take place in 1917, or 1918 as a few sources have erroneously reported. All newspaper accounts of the wedding appeared in the June 1916 papers.

Note that during her lifetime, Madeleine spelled her name Madeleine Talmage Force, not Madeleine Talmadge Force as some sources report. Talmage is the way it was spelled on her engagement announcements, the marriage license, the formal marriage announcement Col. Astor sent to the newspapers, as well as documents relating to her survival from the Titanic sinking and her death announcements. "Madaline," "Madeline" and "Madelin" are a few of the spelling variations of her name you may encounter. As previously noted, she spelled her first name Madeleine.


Biography

Madeleine Force was born June 19th, 1893, in Brooklyn, New York, to William H. Force (head of a large New York shipping firm) and Katherine E. Talmage. She was educated in Europe and Connecticut, and was a popular member of the Junior League.

September 9th, 1911, at 9:55 a.m., Madeleine married multimillionaire businessman, inventor and writer, John Jacob Astor IV. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Joseph Lambert in the white and gold ballroom at the Astor estate, Beechwood Mansion, in Newport, Rhode Island. Their marriage caused a scandal, the result of Astor's recent divorce, and the fact that the 47-year-old Astor was marrying an 18-year-old. Following her marriage to Astor, every major event throughout Madeleine's life would be eagerly documented in the press.

The newlyweds spent several months abroad on an extended honeymoon in hopes the incessant gossip would die down. While returning home on the maiden voyage of the Titanic, the ship struck an iceberg. She was rescued, but her husband perished in the sinking. Madeleine was pregnant with her son at the time of the Titanic sinking, and gave birth just four months after the harrowing ordeal. Under the terms of her husband's will, Madeleine received $100,000 along with the horses, carriages, and automobiles belonging to him, the income from a vast trust fund, and tenancy of the Astor mansion on Fifth Avenue. The trust fund income of $200,000 a year and tenancy of the Astor mansion would continue so long as she did not remarry.

She gave birth to a son, John Jacob Astor VI, August 14th, 1912, at 8:15 a.m., at the Astor mansion in New York City.

Four years after the birth of her first son, she gave up her right to the income from her trust fund, in order to marry again. June 22nd, 1916, Madeleine Astor married William K. Dick at St. Saviour's Episcopal Church, in Bar Harbor, Maine. The Rev. A.C. Larned officiated the 2 p.m. wedding ceremony between the survivor of the Titanic disaster and noted banker/industrialist William K. Dick. He served as a director of Best Foods, St. Regis Paper Company, and National Sugar Refining Company. Mr. Dick was a childhood friend with whom she'd recently become reacquainted. This second marriage ended in divorce in 1933, but not before producing two additional sons.

Her final marriage to Italian middleweight boxer Vincenzo Fiermonte was nearly as scandalous as her first. Her quickie Nevada divorce and the fact that the Italian prizefighter was 15 years her junior was enough to start tongues wagging. For the most part, her active social life came to an end following this marriage. The marriage ended when Madeleine filed for divorce in Florida, May 2nd, 1938. She was granted a divorce from him June 11th on grounds of extreme cruelty.

Her early death at age 46 was attributed to a coronary occlusion.


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